The first thing I do in the morning is feed my animals. This requires more time than you might think because my turtle, Ruby the Red-Eared Slider, has to be spoon fed. In 2002 I found her trying to cross a busy street. Before she got halfway across, she got run over by a car. Her carapace was crushed, and one of her eyes was badly damaged. I had no way of finding her owner, so I rushed her to a veterinary hospital, where they put her back together with epoxy and fiberglass. I was surprised and grateful she survived, but she needed a lot of care, including tube feeding and antibiotic shots. Thankfully, after six months she started eating on her own, but could only do so if I put the food in a spoon right in front of her. The time I spend feeding Ruby in the morning is special, and not a day passes that I’m life not grateful for her life.
Once the animals have eaten, I sit down to write in my journal. But before I get started, Henry usually comes back for his post-breakfast snack. He’s got me well trained, so I stop what I’m doing and give him a treat.
Now I can sit back down to journal. I’ve learned that if I start with a gratitude list, my attitude magically improves, and I’m more likely to have a good day. My daily list is mostly a message to God, and stays on the private pages of my notebook, but today I want to write a gratitude list on my blog, for the kind people who have been helping me through the process of publishing and publicizing my book.
My social media skills are lousy at best, and even though I’ve been trying to learn, it’s just not my bailiwick. Since today’s publishing world requires it, I’ve set up accounts, uploaded photos, written a few words, blah, blah, blah, but it’s so overwhelming.
Enter some kind family members, friends and strangers, who have taken me under their wings and guided me through this process:
*My sister Rachel, a gifted Graphic Designer, for helping me set up this website.
*My new friend Isabel, a Twitter aficionado, who Tweets and Re-Tweets my posts to her many followers.
*All the wonderful people at Koehler Books, for publishing my book.
*Dyane Hargrave, whose book, Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder, with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw, will be published by Post Hill Press in October, right before mine. She bravely sought endorsements and reviews, and posted everything on her blog, so I could follow her progress. She also graciously responded to questions I asked about this new world. Like me, she has written a personal account of a serious struggle, and is living proof that we can survive. Thank you Dyane.
*Dean Robertson for her illuminating review of my book. She too is a wonderful editor and writer.
I also want to thank ALL THE KIND, GENEROUS PEOPLE WHO WROTE ENDORSEMENTS FOR GIVING PAWS:
*Dear Abby – Advise columnist – Need I say more?
*Steven Stiefel – an awesome editor and writer.
*Susannah Charleson – a wise and wonderful writer who provided expert guidance and inspiration.
*Brenda Scott Royce – an amazing writer of many books and “a lifelong lover of beasts and books.”
*Jacqueline Sheehan, PhD – a fine fiction writer, essayist and psychologist.
Pamela Wright – Docent extraordinaire for the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association.
*Claudia Kawczynska, Editor in Chief of my favorite magazine, The Bark.
*Wayne Connell – Founder and President of a very important organization-
The Invisible Disabilities Association
*And a HUGE THANK YOU to the kind readers who were willing to read my ARC, (typos and all), and write a review on Amazon.